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A conversation with Pam Petrow, hosted by TMA NextGen Co-Chairs Ryan Brady, TRG Associates and Jessica Lambert, General Monitoring Services on May 4, 2021.
Brought to you by TMA’s NextGen, we are pleased to introduce an exciting virtual meeting series – Meet Your Mentor. Each broadcast will welcome a respected TMA leader in an informal, interview-style format that invites attendees to ask questions and share comments.
With this series The Monitoring Association has created a platform for some of its most influential and successful members to share their personal journeys. In doing so we hope to guide and shape the next generation of leaders and through their invaluable insight.
Go Beyond You
“I was always given every opportunity to succeed…and to fail,” remarked Pam Petrow, president, Vector Security and former TMA President. For Petrow, who began working for Vector Security 39 years ago right out of college, the value of mentorship is not lost. “Many individuals have contributed to my career in various ways,” Petrow openly shares. She was told very early in her career by then-Vector President John Murphy, “We have great plans for you!”
With great passion, energy, and intent, Petrow propelled herself through nearly every department within the organization—learning and growing with every step of her journey. She began in sales, tried her hand at collections and marketing, and was also in charge of Vector’s monitoring center. “TMA members who were giants in the industry always afforded me their time,” said Petrow who firmly believes in the “collective mindset.” Constant mentoring from colleagues made all of the difference for Petrow who self-admittedly loves what she does and the company for which she works.
“Hire people and let them do their jobs,” warns Petrow. “You have to know how to talk to people. Leaders of tomorrow will need to communicate effectively,” From her perspective, security industry professionals have to be more forward thinking, and that starts from who is hired and or promoted to be a security industry professional in the first place.
Petrow encourages professionals to have “an attitude that failure isn’t final.” She, herself, remarks that it isn’t in her “genetic” make-up to be defeated by failure. “There’s always another opportunity,” she believes, “Figure out what went wrong and fix it.” A good leader, according to Petrow, nurtures and strengthens his/her team. “It’s a balance between stretching and being there,” she offers.
Lately, Petrow has observed a decline in the labor pool. She encourages leaders to look for talent in new and different places. She also stresses the value and critical nature of diversity to business success. She strongly encourages hiring managers to be thoughtful and to have a diversity plan.
When asked what legacy she’d like to leave behind, Petrow was quick to brush off the obvious, superficial monikers and roles that many first come to mind. She doesn’t see those as “legacy-worthy.” The much revered industry leader sees her legacy in those that she’s hired who now fill managerial roles themselves. “I see them developing new people,” she says, adding, “Go beyond you. What did you do to help people behind you sustain the business?”